FILE - In this March 4, 2020, file photo, Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan meets with umpires before the team's NCAA college baseball game against Florida A&M in Gainesville, Fla. The top-ranked Gators are off to a program-record 16-0 start and the only unbeaten team in Division I. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)

Gator Baseball Downs Stetson

The Florida baseball team is now 23-14 on the season after beating the Stetson Hatters 10-8 Tuesday night in Gainesville.

Freshman Karl Hartman got the start on the mound for Florida but ran into trouble early.  He gave up a run in the first inning and then was chased from the game in the third inning when Stetson pushed across three runs to take a 4-0 lead.

Slow Start

The Hatters struck first, as leadoff man Cameron Hill started the game right off the bat with a single.  He would later score on a double play ground out.  In the third inning, Hill was hit by a pitch and Nick DiPonzio singled to chase Hartman.  Nick Ficarrotta relieved and gave up a three run homer to DH Brandon Hylton to give Stetson a 4-0 lead.

The Gators responded for two runs in their half of the third.  Colby Halter started the inning with a double down the left-field line and came in to score on an RBI single to right off the bat of Sterlin Thompson.  After advancing to second on a groundout, Thompson scored on a single hit by BT Riopelle.

Stetson answered back with one run in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead.

Comeback By Florida

The Gators would take their first lead of the game after scoring five runs in the fourth inning.  Shortstop Josh Rivera hit his fifth homer of the year and after two outs, Colby Halter walked and Jud Fabian was hit by a pitch.  Thompson plated a run with an RBI hit and then Wyatt Langford hit a three-run home run off the left-field foul pole, giving the Gators a 7-5 lead going into the fifth.  Florida made it 8-5 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Langford and Gator pitching held the Hatters scoreless.  Nick Pogue relieved Ficarrotta and fired a one-two-three frame of his own, picking up a strikeout in the process.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Hatters came back with a pair of runs. Hylton hit an RBI double and Yohann Dessureault brought Hylton home with a hit that made the score 8-7 in favor of Florida.  Pogue gave up one of the runs while reliever Philip Abner gave up the other.

In the bottom of the eighth, Jud Fabian hit a two-run home run to give Florida a 10-7 lead; it was his 16th home run this season and the 48th of his career.

Blake Purnell came in at the ninth to close out the game, allowing only one run to bring the  final score of the game to 10-8.  Purnell recorded his fourth save of the year.


Up Next

The Gators welcome No. 1 Tennessee to Florida Ballpark for a three-game series spanning from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24. Florida has a 6-9 conference record heading into these weekend series games.

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